Declan Sullivan

Declan Sullivan


Declan Sullivan, M.P.A., came to the world of active bystandership through his experience as a Senior Program Associate at Georgetown University’s Center for Innovations in Community Safety. In 2021, Declan served as part of the leadership team for Project ABLE (Active Bystandership for Law Enforcement). Declan supervised all ABLE training operations, oversaw the agency application process, and led ABLE’s statewide initiatives in Washington, Colorado, and Utah.

During his time at ABLE, Declan was critical in allowing the expansion of the program to hundreds of police departments all over the United States and Canada. Thanks largely to Declan’s efficient and inspiring leadership, ABLE’s list of agencies grew from a small number of agencies to more than 300 police departments in three short years. In its early years, ABLE was understaffed, requiring Declan to play multiple positions at the same time. He brought outstanding administrative skills, deep respect for law enforcement, and empathy for police officers and the communities they serve and protect.

Before attending graduate school, Declan enjoyed a successful career in 9-1-1 communications and emergency management in Arlington County, Virginia. During his service, Declan supported staff training, high-threat response planning, interagency coordination efforts, and introduced data-driven program design to various public safety initiatives. In 2018, he received the County Manager’s Excellence Award for his work as a founding member of the county’s “Police Communications Working Group.”

Declan holds a masters degree in Public Administration (MPA) from the Fels Institute of Government at the University of Pennsylvania and is currently pursuing an MPhil and Ph.D. in Criminology at the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom. During graduate school at Penn, he worked with the Philadelphia Police Department to conduct a civilianization study that evaluated the functions of existing civilian personnel and discovered roles within the department to transition from sworn officers to civilian specialists. Declan presented his work to the department’s executive team and the city’s police commissioner. Declan’s report and its findings were profiled in the Philadelphia Inquirer in October, 2022. His research focuses on alternative systems of emergency response that introduce non-criminal remedies to behavioral health emergencies, substance misuse, and crime associated with housing insecurity.

When not engaged in research, Declan works on projects for his small consulting firm, MCMD Solutions. Declan is the founder and Principal Consultant of the firm, which supports various clients in law enforcement agencies, local governments, and non-profit organizations focused on public safety and criminal justice reform.